There used to be a time when I looked forward to the mailman coming to my house.
Would there be a letter for me?!
But, those times have changed. They gave way to electronic mail and the excitement of “You’ve Got Mail!” and that familiar “Ding” of a newly arrived email.
Now, we each get hundreds of those a day coming into our multiple email accounts. The excitement has worn off. And, the other thing that is off is our notification of newly arrived email. Seriously, who are you people that still have the “Ding” on your laptop or phone announcing the arrival of new mail? Vibrate dammit!
Most email is just useless electronic banter. People at work have no problem telling you what to do, chewing you out or dishing out misdirected action items to you via email. Yet, even an email with the nastiest of intentions often ends politely – via the canned email signature.
The email signature, as defined by my go-to source for all things (Wikipedia) is:
A block of text automatically appended at the bottom of an e-mail message.
There are countless sites on the interwebs talking about email signature etiquette. Generally, these all come down to the following: be concise, include your contact information and avoid tons of pictures. Isn’t it funny that the greater the number of articles on etiquette the less people tend to follow those social rules?
In those hundreds of emails we all get each day there are countless examples of email signatures – both good and bad. let’s take a look at some that I’ve received lately.
This is a classic. Normally reserved for hand-written messages and more formal emails. Generally, I don’t see people using this, because we’re not really a formal society anymore.
What is this? If you have this as part of your canned message it’s clear you aren’t giving me your “best” regards as you’re giving it to everyone. Thus, it’s merely average.
And, what is “regards”? Well, my buddy (the web) says it means: to consider or think of (someone or something) in a specified way.
OK, so let’s get this straight. You are really saying at the end of your email that you are thinking of me in an average way. How special.
This is reserved for the jerk who can’t even give you a
Best average regard. They are just thinking in some way.
To me, this one at the end of an email reads – “blah, blah, blah, I’m done writing you, CV.”
Note, a close variant of this one is the person who just types “regards” and forgets to put their name. Morons.
One word says it all. Love. This one should never, ever, ever be used in a business setting. In your personal life…Love on!
To me this is used by the person who is hails from one of the current or former British colonies. Or, likes to pretend they are all cultured like there were from one of the current or former British colonies. Skip it in emails and save it for the bar with friends.
Then there’s the automatically provided ones. The kind you get when you buy an iPhone. Why Apple felt the need to automatically include “Sent from my iPhone” later to be augmented with “Sent from my iPad” to all outgoing emails I’ll never know. OH wait! I do know. It’s all Marketing 101. It’s also all Annoying 101. Rule #1 when you get your new iDevice – delete this.
Then there’s the variants of the automatic ones. The ones that people think are funny. For example:
Please excuse my typos, sent from my iPhone.
iPhone: small screen, big fingers!
iPad: larger screen, fingers still clumsy!
Really? Not only are they not funny, they are stupid.
Do. Not. Use.
I also have coworkers who feel the need to provide inspirational (or so they think) quotes.
“Remember, that it’s not what happens to you in life…it’s how you handle it.” - Al Nonymous
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” - Wayne Gretzky
Guess what? I’m going to handle it by shooting it into my garbage can.
Of course we have our
tree hugger ecological friends too.
“SAVE PAPER. SAVE A TREE. Think before you print.”
“Do you really need to print this email?”
Obviously, these examples don’t come from my timber yelling coworker.
Then we have the ones with tons of hyperlinks for you to click on. Earlier today I got one with, I shit you not, no fewer than 15 hyperlinks to their company’s products.
Hey, dumbass…I got one for you. Try your company website only. It’s one hyperlink and guess what…all your products are there!
Another annoying signature is the one with massive (both physical size and file size) picture files attached. Come on, there are so many email reading methods that won’t recognize these and add them as separate attachments rendering them useless.
Or, how about the ones that realtors use with their actual headshot picture in all their creepy smiling glory. Look, I do not want to look at you. Got it?
Another is the inclusion of standard text similar to:
“If you received this
because I’m a moron who can’t address an email by accident and you weren’t the intended audience, please delete it and notify the sender…blah, blah, blah…”
I am 98% sure no one has ever replied back saying they got it by mistake. I am 99% sure that it’s royally annoying when these damn things stack up upon each other at the end of an email that dozens of people have replied all to for days. And, I’m 100% sure that these are the fault of freaking lawyers.
There are countless other examples, but I’m a big fan of my name and basic contact information making it easy for someone to add me to their contacts and/or call me back (which I’ll promptly let got to voicemail).
What I find most ironic is that the most famous signature of all time didn’t use anything even close to resembling these. John Hancock’s signature was merely large and grand (over shining his friends I might add).
Thinking of Mr. Hancock, the mailman coming down my driveway to deliver what I hoped was something for me and being the history buff I am makes me long for the olden days. In fact, I think I may end all my emails more formally from here on out. I’m thinking a custom wax seal stamp.